Basic chicken soup begins with a broth made by cooking the chicken with savory vegetables and herbs . From the basic stock, you can vary your soup by adding your favorite vegetables, pasta or rice. Above all, the prime ingredient in chicken soup is love!
Here are some tips and my standard recipe (below), to help you produce the most flavorful soup....
- Always begin with cold water.
- A good soup really needs salt.
- Chicken Wings have the best ratio of fat to meat for adding flavor to the soup and are often a Chef's favorite when it comes to making a great stock.
- Always use a fresh (preferably Kosher) chicken.
- Skim! For clear soups, I advocate skimming off the foamy solids that rise to the top as the soup cooks.
- Don't let the soup boil. It should simmer very gently or the meat will become tough and the broth cloudy.
- Be sure to refrigerate the broth after it has cooled completely until the fat solidifies on top, preferably overnight.
THE BEST CHICKEN SOUP
- 5 pounds chicken wings or 1 whole (3-4 pounds) chicken
- 16 cups (4 quarts) water
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 parsnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 bunch parsley root, cleaned and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- Kosher salt
In a large stockpot, combine the wings, water, veggies, herbs and peppercorns. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, skimming the scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for 2 hours Add salt to taste. Enjoy straight up with saltine crackers or add cooked rice or noodles.